Y’all already know how we feel about the ridiculous ticket allotment many bowls force the two bowl-bound schools to purchase. For BCS bowls, those allotments are usually around the 17,000 number.
The school — and their conference, depending on the policy — ends up having to absorb whatever tickets aren’t sold. But at least with fan purchases there’s a chance, albeit slim, for a return on investment. One area where there’s zero return is paying the expense for what supposedly makes the bowl experience, well, an experience.
The bands and cheerleaders.
The Baton Rouge Advocate reports that LSU projects to spend somewhere just under $450,000 to send its band and cheerleaders to New Orleans for three days for the BCS national championship. That’s $450k in travel, lodging, meals and tickets — 529 tickets for the marching band to be precise. At $350 a pop.
“We want the band there, but they take up 500 tickets,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said. “We have to buy those tickets, and tickets for this game are unbelievably expensive.”
Alabama didn’t reveal the costs associated with sending their band and cheerleaders to the game (although a UA representative said the school needed 539 seats), but the Advocate figures that number to be similar.
To summarize, that’s nearly 1,100 seats and $1 million in essentially sunk costs.
“If we spend more, it’s our fault,” Alleva said. “If we spend less, we make money.”
True. The bowls often force schools to purchase ticket allotments; they do not, however, dictate how a school must use that allotment.
“But in a lot of bowl games, it’s a losing deal.”
Ding ding ding!